The Imperial Hotel, Blackpool was the venue once again for the annual North Fylde Group Ball and what a magnificent evening it turned out to be. The occasion has gained a reputation for excellence and this year was no exception. North Fylde group chairman Duncan Smith was delighted to welcome Assistant Provincial Grand Master Tony Bent and his wife Linda as principal guests, together with Harry and Carol Cox, David and Ann Randerson, and a total of 180 distinguished revellers.
On arrival at the hotel on a glorious spring evening, masters of lodges, first principals and their ladies were invited into the Derby room to meet with the dignitaries and their ladies. Group officers were also in attendance at this pre-dinner event.
The meetings and greetings completed and on finishing their aperitifs, the brethren and their ladies sojourned to the Lancastrian suite where they were pleased to welcome the top table guests. Rev Canon John Hall, the master of Pharos Lodge No 7421 was on hand to say Grace prior to the serving of dinner.
The room was full and it was obvious from the conversations that the brethren and their ladies were enjoying the evening. The beers and spirits flowed, bottles of wine were uncorked, and a hearty meal was served by the staff of the hotel.
After a sumptuous banquet, Duncan Smith was delighted to present the principal guest Tony Bent with a cheque for £4,500 towards the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival, which meant that the North Fylde group had attained Grand Patron status for the Festival.
Duncan gave thanks to the Group Ball Committee for all their hard work in organising this year’s event, especially Mike and Elaine Brown, Frank and Sue Kennedy, and to the evening’s director of ceremonies, Jim Gregson.
Tony Bent responded by thanking Duncan for the invitation to such a wonderful occasion and congratulated Duncan and the North Fylde group of lodges and chapters for attaining Grand Patron status of the MCF 2021 Festival, thanking all the brethren and companions of the group for their marvellous generosity.
Names were drawn for the lucky lady who would be taking home a table prize of a peace lily, and a raffle for charities then took place, with many prizes being on offer, the final one being a tablet.
Following dinner the brethren and their ladies danced the night away to Group Ball regulars Zeta and Lee who had everyone rocking and rolling until the midnight hour.
Next year’s Group Ball has already been booked for Saturday 14 April 2018, again at the Imperial Hotel and, no doubt, it will be another roaring success.